My name is Anikó Kurali, I am a biologist-ecologist and PhD student. Beside the university, I worked as an assistant research fellow for almost 5 years in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. At present time I am a pre-doctor, I finished all semesters with the best grades. I feel really engaged in nature conservation, over the past 15 years I participated in several conservation projects by various NGOs in Hungary and abroad. Bats have been always in the focus of my interest. I am dealing with bats since 2007 and a huge part of my research activity is devoted to these animals. In the last two summer seasons I worked for Operation Wallacea as a bat scientist volunteer in Honduras. Since then, performing conservation research focused on tropical bats became my biggest dream.
Bats are important indicators in identifying areas where conservation efforts should be concentrated and whether these areas are affected by ongoing climate change or habitat destruction via human activity. They also play a crucial role in seed dispersal, pollination of numerous plants, control of pest populations, and guano production, which is a useful fertiliser. Given the importance of the environmental services provided by bats and their role as bioindicators, it is essential to know their ecological needs, in order to conserve, improve their habitat conditions and maintain the landscape elements that are key for bats.
Recently I won a governmental grant for my 1 year long project proposal in Mexico (can be prolonged in case of success) which covers my travel and living costs, but does not cover the costs of the necessary research equipment. The problem is that the grand states that I cannot use other scholarships for the same period and activity, therefore I am not able to apply for the additional governmental grant available. I would use this money for the research equipment to know more about bats' ecology in particularly unique and remote mountain forests, to document changes in bat communities and to estimate the effects of the environmental factors underlying the observed patterns.
I am writing you in the hope that you may consider my situation worthy. As a young researcher, this period is crucial, since I am just finishing my PhD work and must carry on with my scientific career on my own. This project would give me the perfect opportunity for professional improvement and building important co-operations for establishing my long term career in tropical nature conservation, which is a "mission impossible" for most of us in East Europe.